How Many Solar Panels Do You Need?


The number of solar panels that you need to place on your roof will depend on how much sunlight you receive, your energy requirements, the size and capabilities of the panels, and the type of roof you have. Although the math is straightforward, there are many variables that can complicate it. It is important to know how many panels are needed before you decide if installing solar energy in your home is a worthwhile investment.

Variables To Take Into Account

Let’s first determine how much electricity we want to produce. This may be the most straightforward question to answer. Next, we will weigh all factors that affect the size of your solar systems, such as available sunlight, roof space, panel sizes, and efficiency.

Electricity Needs

You will need to review your past year’s electricity bills to calculate your annual electricity consumption. This is measured in kilowatt-hours or kWh. You will use more electricity in certain seasons (e.g., summer air conditioning) than you do during the rest of the year. Your utility company in states that have net billing programs will credit you with a portion of excess electricity you produce but don’t use. This credit can be applied to the months that you use more electricity than you generate.

Make sure to plan ahead. Solar panels last for 25 years or longer. You may need more electricity in the future. For example, your children might move out or in, or you may need an electric heat pump to replace your oil-burning furnace or replace your gas-powered car with an electric one. You may not be credited for the entire amount of energy you produce if you build too much.

Roof Space Available

It is important to determine how much sunlight your roof can receive to justify the expense of installing panels. This depends on the size of your roof, how it is oriented, and how much sunlight it gets per day. You will get a higher return on your investment if there is more sunlight. A rooftop solar system that receives too little sunlight might not pay off. In this case, a community-scale solar farm could be an option. This way you can still produce all the electricity you require without having to install anything on your property.

Sizes Of Panels

There are many options for solar panels. They come in different sizes and costs. Also, there are different levels of power efficiency and power. You can use larger panels if you have more roof space. Although they may not be the most efficient option, they are cheaper and require less structural support. More energy-efficient panels are better suited for smaller spaces.


The percentage of sunlight panels that can convert to electricity is a measure of efficiency. The efficiency of solar panels is determined by how much sunlight they can convert into electricity. Investing in the most efficient panels is a smart move.

This post was written by Daniel Massaad, owner and expert solar technician at! ESD is one of the top solar panel companies in Florida! Our licensed and certified contractors are masters of their craft; with years of experience servicing the great Tampa Bay area and beyond, the choice is simple. ESD excels at offering you the best in solar value!


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